Frequently Asked Questions - UK Parliament Reviews
These Frequently Asked Questions provide information about us and our work. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for in the sections above, contact us using the details at the bottom left of each page.
How often do you review UK Parliament constituencies?
Starting from our next expected review of UK Parliament constituencies between 2016 and 2018, we will review UK Parliament constituencies every 5 years. We have no power to review UK Parliament constituencies outside those 5-yearly reviews.
What is the process for reviewing UK Parliament constituencies?
The process that we follow is largely defined by the law: the legislation governing our work is available on this website. The process can be summarised as:
- we develop our Initial Proposals;
- we publish those proposals for 12 weeks of public consultation;
- we hold public hearings during the consultation period;
- we publish consultation responses online for public comment for a 4 week period;
- we consider all responses and comments received during the consultation period, and produce Revised Proposals as necessary;
- we publish any Revised Proposals for 8 weeks of public consultation;
- we consider any further responses made and amend our recommendations as necessary; and
- we submit our report to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
As part of a review we produce a booklet explaining the process, which is available from us or from this website.
What are public hearings?
Public hearings are an important part of the consultation process on our proposals. We hold between 2 and 5 public hearings around Scotland. Each hearing can last for up to 2 days, and provides an opportunity for anyone to make their views known on our proposals.
What are the electorate requirements for constituencies?
The electorate of each constituency, with a few specified exceptions, has to be within 5% of the average electorate of a mainland constituency in the United Kingdom. The exceptions that can affect Scotland are constituencies covering Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas (which each have a smaller electorate) and any constituency exceeding 12,000 square kilometres which is allowed to have a smaller electorate under certain circumstances.
What other rules are there for designing constituencies?
Once we have met the electorate rule, we also have to ensure that the extent of every constituency is less than 13,000 square kilometres. We can also take account of special geographical considerations, local authority boundaries, existing constituency boundaries and local ties which would be broken by changing constituencies.
How do I find out what is going on?
We publish information about our work on our website through the News and Reviews in Progress sections, and on Facebook. At key stages of any review, we issue News Releases to newspapers and broadcasters, and place public notices in newspapers. At the public consultation stages of reviews, we make maps and other information about our proposals available for inspection at locations such as public libraries and council offices.
Can I have a say?
Yes. The public consultation process is designed to allow everyone to inspect our proposals and express their views for or against our proposals, and also to allow comment on views expressed by others. You can do this by letter or email, using our contact details given on this website. During consultation periods, we have a response form on this website. You can also express your views in person at public hearings. Views in support of our proposals are as important as those against.